Square’s Debut of Payment Terminal Triggers Fresh Bitcoin Acceptance Rumors

Consumer and merchant payment network Square Inc. unveiled a point-of-sale (PoS) terminal October 19 in a move which sparked excitement about possible Bitcoin integration.

Bitcoin PoS Next For Square?

Unveiled on social media and in an interview with tech outlet Nerdist, Square’s device is designed as a standalone solution for merchants wishing to accept card payments. The move comes amid testing times for Square, the company’s share price dropping 25 percent since the start of October following two high-profile resignations.

Shares are currently trading around $0.75 from highs of $1 seen October 1.

In August, Bitcoinist reported on a patent application which would see Square accept cryptocurrency payments via merchant integration. While no official product has yet surfaced, the buzz generated by the application meant Friday’s PoS reveal swiftly resulted in fresh predictions from cryptocurrency commentators.

An Evolving Market

Square has already-partly integrated Bitcoin (BTC) 00 into its product base. This happened late last year, and it began a rollout of buying and selling functionality in its consumer app which it completed this summer.

That initial step drew positive reactions from users, many of who intimated it was an upgrade they had been waiting for some time.

While Square’s narrative on Bitcoin has been more or less straightforward, it has come amid mixed signals from CEO Jack Dorsey. As CEO of Twitter, Dorsey has presided over the social network instigating a full ban on cryptocurrency advertising, a highly unpopular decision which Facebook and Google also implemented but since partially reversed.

A potential PoS cryptocurrency hook-up could meanwhile appeal to merchants already involved in the acceptance of digital assets.

In May, Bitcoinist reported that crypto merchant payment stalwarts BitPay and Coinbase continue to face stiff competition from open source alternatives amid a string of negative publicity.

In the case of BitPay, slow progress implementing SegWit support, combined with poor reliability, led one developer vowing to make the company “obsolete” with his own solution, BTCPay. CheapAir.com, the travel and accommodation service which began accepting Bitcoin in 2013, has already migrated to the alternative service.

What kind of potential do you think Square’s future holds for Bitcoin merchant payments? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Shutterstock, Twitter/@StopAndDecrypt.

Huobi Unveils New ‘All-in-One’ Stablecoin for Stablecoins (Except Tether)

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced today that it has launched its very own interchangeable stablecoin dubbed HUSD.

“All-In-One Stablecoin”

Huobi, which is currently the third largest cryptocurrency exchange by means of traded volume according to data from CoinMarketCap, announced the launch of its own stablecoin HUSD.

Notes Livio Weng Vice President at Huobi:

It’s our great pleasure to announce the launch of HUSD, an all-in-one stablecoin solution. A market first, HUSD lets you deposit or withdraw with any one of four stablecoins. Deposit PAX, for example, and withdraw USDC with no conversion fees.

According to the official release, the new solution intends to “eliminate the need to choose between multiple stablecoins.”

When a user deposits any kind of stabelcoin in his Huobi account, they will be displayed as HUSD. At the same time, users will be able to withdraw any kind of stablecoin as soon as the amount of the particular stablecoin is sufficient in their balances.

For example, when you deposit 1 PAX, it will show as 1 HUSD in your account, and you can withdraw 1 TUSD (not considering transaction fees on the blockchain). – Reads the announcement.

Supposedly, this will also help users save when they are switching between different stablecoins.

Tether’s Out of the Picture

According to the release, the brand new HUSD solution currently supports only four kinds of stablecoins. Notably, though, Tether (USDT) has been left out. Users will be able to exchange their HUSD for Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), and Gemini Dollars (GUSD).

Despite not including Tether, Huobi will be working to involve more stablecoins in its HUSD solution:

We look forward to more stablecoins being involved in the HUSD system. Concurrently, we will evaluate the existing stablecoins in the HUSD system on a real time basis, if the stablecoin doesn’t meet the corresponding risk control standard, we will remove it off from the HUSD system.

What do you think of Huobi’s new stablecoin? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Nordea in Money Laundering Scandal After Calling Bitcoin ‘High-Risk’ for Money Laundering

Nordic banking giant Nordea Bank is allegedly implicated in a multi-million money laundering scandal. Reportedly, the case is related to another recent money laundering scheme involving Denmark’s Danske Bank.

Nordea in Hot Water 

Banking giant Nordea Bank, headquartered in Helsinki, is alleged to have accepted criminally-sourced funds from banks located in Lithuania and Estonia.

The giant confirmed that it’s aware of the report on Tuesday October 16th:

We are aware of the report, and at Nordea we work closely with the relevant authorities in the countries in which we operate, including the Nordic Financial Intelligence Units.

According to Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, some 365 individual accounts at the bank have allegedly received payments from shell companies amounting to 150 million euros. What is more, the media, which claims to have access to the report, outlines that part of those payments came from the Estonian branch of Danske Bank.

Danske Bank

Bitcoinist reported earlier in October that Denmark’s Danske Bank found itself at the center of a tremendous Russian money laundering scandal, alleging that it has illegitimately processed some $235 billion.

And Yet, Cryptocurrencies Present a Threat?

Danske Bank reportedly laundered more money than the entire cryptocurrency market capitalization alone. That’s one bank at one location.

According to the report mentioned above, Nordea is also at the center of yet another 150 million money laundering scandal. This is the same bank which banned all of its 31,000 employees from trading Bitcoin 00 because of its “high risks.”

Back in February, another major Dutch bank – Rabobank, was also fined for accepting at least $369 million in illegal proceeds from drug trafficking and other activity from the period between 2009 and 2012.

Rabobank also warned against the risks of Bitcoin. Quickly after that, the bank took a major U-turn and announced that it plans to offer a cryptocurrency wallet.

Coincheck NEM laundered

The obvious conclusions aside, it’s important to note that multiple international governmental institutions have already spoken up on the risks of cryptocurrencies associated with illicit activities.

A report from the Financial Services and Treasury of Hong Kong on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Risk Assessment revealed that cryptocurrencies are widely left out of organized crime.

The National Crime Agency of the UK, in its National Risk Assessment of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing report of 2017 also outlined that the risks of cryptocurrencies used for money laundering is “relatively low.”

What do you think of the recent allegations against Nordea? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock